Tongue twisters are a great, fun way to practice your pronunciation. They can help you learn new vocabulary as well as the rhythm and flow of English (How to Learn English with Rythym and Flow).
We’ve included audio of a native speaker saying each of the tongue twisters twice. Once slowly and once a little faster. This will greatly help your pronunciation.
If you can recite most of these tongue twisters quickly and without errors you will have a great mastery over the spoken English language.
Underneath each of the tongue twisters, you’ll find some definitions of words that you may not know.
DIRECTIONS: For the shorter tongue twisters, try to say them five times fast. For the rest, just try and say them as fast as you can without any errors. Have fun!
SH – S sound
- This tongue twister is harder than it looks! Be sure not to say message as if it were spelt meshage.
- Simple but hard. Try not to say stuper superstition.
Seventy seven benevolent elephants.
- Benevolent means well-meaning and kindly.
- Sleek means smooth and elegant.
- Swam is the past tense of swim.
- Swiftly means quickly.
Six sick hicks nick six slick bricks with picks and sticks.
Another word for a hick is a redneck, which is generally lower classed person raised in rural areas in the United States who isn’t very cultured. Check out urban dictionary for more information.
- Here, nick means steal.
- Slick means smooth, the opposite of rough.
I saw Susie sitting in a shoe shine shop. Where she sits she shines, and where she shines she sits.
- Be careful not to say “where she shits she shines and where she shines she shits,” that has a completely different meaning! How to use swear words in English.
As I was in Arkansas I saw a saw that could out saw any saw I ever saw saw. If you happen to be in Arkansas and see a saw that can out saw the saw I saw saw I’d like to see the saw you saw saw.
- Arkansas is pronounced Ar-kin-saw
- Here, saw means two things, the past tense of see and a tool that cuts wood.
- If you can out ____ (verb) someone, it means you can do a better job at it. For example, the saw can out saw any saw, which means it’s the best saw. Another example, I can outrun you means I can beat you in a race.
T – Th sound
Two tried and true tridents.
- Tried and true means that something has performed well and will continue to do so.
- A trident is a type of weapon that looks like a big fork.
- Here’s a great tongue twister to help you practice pronouncing the TH sound. Remember, your tongue goes in between your teeth.
How many cookies could a good cook cook if a good cook could cook cookies? A good cook could cook as much cookies as a good cook who could cook cookies.
- Be sure to pronounce could and cook correctly.
Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked. If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?
- Here peck means a large amount of something, but it is not commonly used this way.
Would and Could
How much wood could Chuck Woods’ woodchuck chuck, if Chuck Woods’ woodchuck could and would chuck wood? If Chuck Woods’ woodchuck could and would chuck wood, how much wood could and would Chuck Woods’ woodchuck chuck? Chuck Woods’ woodchuck would chuck, he would, as much as he could, and chuck as much wood as any woodchuck would, if a woodchuck could and would chuck wood.
- Chuck means to throw away.
- A woodchuck is another word for a groundhog
Well, there you have it. A tantalizingly tasteful troop of tip-top, tailor-made tongue twisters. (i.e., A tormentingly pleasing group of the best, perfectly made tongue twisters.)
Want to further improve your pronunciation? Check out:
- 7 Tips to Drastically Improve Your Pronunciation in English
- How to Reduce Your Accent in English
- Top 5 English Mispronunciations Made By Brazilians
These fun exercises are what Real Life English is all about. These tongue twisters are something you would never do in school, just like our FREE ebook, 101 Words You’ll Never Learn in School. Click the link to find out more.